Steve McNamara cites yellow cards as key reason for defeat

As Wigan Warriors defeated Catalans Dragons in last night’s Super League Grand Final, Steve McNamara unfortunately collected the unwanted distinction of one of the few Super League coaches to lose two Grand Finals without winning one.

His side were far from their best form on the night and McNamara was quick to acknowledge this especially in attack and with their last tackle plays.

But he also cited the impact of the yellow cards on their defeat.

Speaking after the game, Steve McNamara reflected on the defeat:

“Two teams ferociously going at each other for 80 minutes to concede one try in the grand final and get beat that’s tough to take, you know, but we didn’t throw enough at the opposition in attack.

“Some of that was probably down to the fact that we spent 20 minutes with 12 men and fought ferociously hard to defend our trial round during that period with 12 men against a team like that.

“It just took probably too much out of us and the second half I don’t think we had one good ball attacking set which is credit again probably to Wigan’s kicking game there so there’s a couple of things there for us.”

It was a disappointing defeat for Sam Tomkins. McNamara was asked if he was injured going into the game:

“No it was fine, yeah. It was fine going into the game. I thought it was a really tough game. It was a hard game, physically tough game. Not a great spectacle like I said. But no, it was fine.”

A key moment was of course the yellow cards for Adam Keighran and Tom Davies.

On this, McNamara said:

“It was very draining and we were coming deep out of the yard. It’s credit to Wigan, you know, they put us there and we got out of there but we weren’t getting enough field position to then squeeze it back on the opposition.

“I thought we defended great, to defend like that in a grand final is what you do need to do. I said before the game you need to be, you know, good’s not good enough to win a grand final. I thought we were excellent in defence but poor in attack in our last play.

“So we just didn’t put the two parts of the game there together to go on and win that. It’s hugely, hugely disappointing for us as a team.

When asked if he took issue with either, McNamara said:

“First one, yeah. Second one’s probably professional fouls, so probably goes. The first one, yeah, I don’t think it’s a yellow. Not in the grand final. Not what we’ve seen in the other semifinals and everything else.”